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HRW calls on nations to end military aid to Iraq amid violent protests

Western and regional nations should end their military aid and support to Iraq amid ongoing anti-government protests that have left hundreds dead, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.

Iraq has been engulfed in nationwide protests for over two months now, where over 500 people have been killed in clashes between security forces and demonstrators, and thousands of others injured.

On Dec. 6, nearly 30 people were killed in the bloodiest day of protests in Iraq. The incident has prompted HRW to call on the United States, United Kingdom, and Iran “that provide military enforcement training and support to Iraq [to] end such assistance until the authorities take effective action to stop the killings and hold abusers to account.”

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW, said protesters continue to die “day after day.”

“The US, UK, and Iran can’t have it both ways, calling on the Iraqi government to respect the rights of protesters while supporting the Iraqi forces killing protesters or standing by,” she said in a statement.

The protests in Iraq reflect widespread dissatisfaction with the economy, a call for more jobs, the dismal state of public services, and widespread government corruption.

The United Nations, as well as Amnesty International, have previously called for an end to the bloodshed and urged security forces to show restraint against protestors.

Demonstrators in Iraq are calling for radical change in Iraq’s political system, which they say fails to address their needs, but, rather, serves the interests of a small governing elite.

The developments have forced Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi to hand in his resignation. In a special session held in Baghdad, the Iraqi Parliament voted to accept Abdul Mahdi’s resignation.
Last Modified: Tuesday، 17 December 2019 04:33 PM